Neuseeland — Kiwi troops destroy Russian bomb in Afghanistan

The Explo­sive Ord­nance Dis­pos­al (EOD) team from the New Zealand Provin­cial Recon­struc­tion Team (NZPRT) were called out to the loca­tion of a 100kg Russ­ian air­craft bomb threat­en­ing both a vil­lage and the World Her­itage Site of the largest Bamyan Bud­dha last month.

100kg Russian aircraft bomb
The 100kg Russ­ian air­craft bomb found after heavy rain, lies in it’s final rest­ing place with EOD charges attached (WN 10–005-050).
Source: New Zealand Army

Recent sea­son­al heavy rains in Bamyan Province had uncov­ered the severe­ly cor­rod­ed bomb next to a town well.

“Dis­pos­ing of a bomb such as this has inher­ent risks at the best of times, but with impor­tant land­marks and a vil­lage close at hand the prob­lems are com­pound­ed,” said EOD Offi­cer Lieu­tenant Nick Fish­er.

The EOD team gained per­mis­sion from the local gov­ern­ment and non-gov­ern­ment agen­cies to dis­pose of the bomb, and began dig­ging a series of large holes as a pro­tec­tion mea­sure for the sur­round­ings and to pre­vent ground shock.

The Afghan Nation­al Police evac­u­at­ed a one kilo­me­ter radius of vil­lage, which was some 400 fam­i­lies, and a spe­cial A‑frame and trol­ley were built by the EOD team to lift the bomb from the washout and trans­port it to the dis­pos­al site, using long ropes.

The bomb was moved into the area of pro­tec­tive earth­works and spe­cial­ized charges were placed on it. These are designed to frac­ture the cas­ing of the bomb and expose the explo­sive inside which is then dis­posed of by burn­ing. This allows for the dis­pos­al of ord­nance with­out caus­ing a full scale explo­sion.

“It all went accord­ing to plan and 16 hours after work start­ed the bomb was suc­cess­ful­ly dis­posed of with no dam­age to any of the impor­tant sites in the area. We are grate­ful to the Gov­ern­ment of the Islam­ic Repub­lic of Afghanistan, UNESCO and the local Afghan Nation­al Police for their assis­tance dur­ing this task,” said Lieu­tenant Fish­er.

Fur­ther pho­tos are avail­able on request.

NZDF roles in Afghanistan:

  • 107 per­son­nel in the NZ Provin­cial Recon­struc­tion Team in Bamyan Province
  • Two non-com­mis­sioned offi­cers assist­ing with the train­ing of the Afghan Nation­al Army.
  • Five offi­cers in Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force head­quar­ters posi­tions
  • One mil­i­tary liai­son offi­cer with the Unit­ed Nations Assis­tance Mis­sion.
  • SAS per­son­nel in Kab­ul.
  • Ten per­son­nel make up the Nation­al Sup­port Ele­ment at Bagram Air­base.

There are cur­rent­ly 665 New Zealand Defence Force per­son­nel deployed on 14 peace­keep­ing oper­a­tions, UN mis­sions and defence exer­cis­es around the world. For more infor­ma­tion please con­tact Nicole Munro, Senior Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Advi­sor 021 569 148

New Zealand Army